Techniques for improved reception of 1090 MHz ADS-B signals
October 31, 1998
The recent development of ADS-B (Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast) is based on the use of the Mode S transponders now carried by all air carrier and commuter aircraft. ADS-B aircraft broadcast aircraft positions, identity, and other information via semi-random Mode S transponder squitters. Other aircraft or ground facilities receive the squitters and the associated position and status. Squitter reception includes the detection of the Mode S 1090 MHz waveform preamble, declaration of the bit and confidence values, error detection, and (if necessary) error correction. The current techniques for squitter reception are based upon methods developed for use in Mode S narrow-beam interrogators and for ACAS. In both of these applications, the rate of Mode NC fruit that is stronger than the Mode S waveform is relatively low, nominally less than 4,000 fruit per second. Extended squitter applications now include long range (up to 100 nmi) air-air surveillance in support of free flight. This type of surveillance is sometimes referred to as Cockpit Display of Traffic Information (CDTI). In high density environments, it is possible to operate with fruit rates of 40,000 fruit per second and higher. Operation of extended squitter in very high ModeNC fruit environments has led to the need to re-evaluate squitter reception techniques to determine if improved performance is achievable. The purpose of this paper is to provide a summary of work in progress to investigate improved squitter reception techniques. Elements of improved squitter reception being investigated include (1) the use of amplitude to improve bit and confidence declaration accuracy, (2) more capable error correction algorithms, and (3) more selective preamble detection approaches.